Sebastian Vettel shows speed, Mercedes miles in testing - Times LIVE
   
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Sat Dec 10 18:31:18 SAST 2016

Sebastian Vettel shows speed, Mercedes miles in testing

AFP | 2016-02-23 14:36:30.0
Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany speeds his new SF16-H F1 car during the first testing session ahead of the upcoming season at the Circuit Catalunya-Barcelona in Montmelo, Spain, February 22, 2016.
Image by: SERGIO PEREZ / REUTERS

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took advantage of a new ultrasoft tyre to propel himself back to the top of the timesheets on a morning of fast times on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Vettel was also fastest in Monday's first day of testing as Ferrari look set to live up to expectations they can challenge Mercedes' dominance of the sport for the past two years.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo also used tyre manufacturer Pirelli's fastest tyre to get second fastest, but was seven tenths down on Vettel's flying lap of 1min 22:810sec.

However, once again Mercedes were arguably the most impressive performers as Nico Rosberg completed 81 laps and went within 0.2 seconds of his qualifying lap to land pole position at the same circuit for last season's Spanish Grand Prix on slower medium tyres.

The German giants have prioritised miles over times early, but Rosberg also went nearly half a second quicker than teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton on his marathon 156 lap run on Monday.

The McLaren-Honda partnership had another busy morning off the track with the news chief motorsport officer Yasuisha Arai will be replaced by Yusuke Hasegawa before the first race of the season next month.

On the track, more progress was made as Fernando Alonso logged 71 laps before lunch.

However, the MP4-31 was still well short on speed as the two-time world champion was 10th fastest behind F1 newbies Haas and rookies Pacal Wehrlein in the Manor and Jolyon Palmer in the recently returned Renualt.

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